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Two Stockbrokers Claim Record for Free-Fall

September 19, 1986

LONDON (AP) _ Two London stockbrokers claimed a world record for free-fall parachuting after jumping from a hot air balloon 35,500 feet over eastern England.

Rory McCarthy, 26, and Mark Child, 24, reached speeds of more than 350 mph during their 2 1/2 -minute plunge Thursday.

At 2,500 feet, they opened their parachutes and drifted to a gentle landing in a field outside Cambridge, 20 miles from their takeoff point in Norfolk.

The 1986 Guinness Book of Records lists Britons R.W.K. Beckett and Harry Ferguson as holders of the record for the longest delayed parachute drop by a civilian. They free-fell 30,000 feet from a balloon near Cape Town, South Africa on Nov. 23, 1969.

After the jump, McCarthy said: ″It was sheer exhilaration, but also pretty terrifying.″

He said his oxygen mask iced up immediately after he jumped - the temperature was as low as 40 below zero in the thin high air - and he had to peel back the mask in order to exhale.

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